Psalm 23:5 – “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”
I got kicked out of a soccer game the other day. Just watching my son do what he loves. At one point, someone near me yelled, “That’s a horrible call!” The referee turned around and pointed at me, “You in the black hat. You’re outta here!” I was stunned and asked, “Who me?” He confirmed it was me. And we repeated the silly exchange about five times.
So the walk of shame began. Some people high-fived me. Others looked at me shaking their heads in disgust. To the ref I was public enemy number one. But get this – after the game he apologized to me and invited me to dinner and now we’re good friends. Just kidding. Made that up.
Do you have an enemy? Maybe someone said something to you or did something to you recently or years ago. You were betrayed, wrongly accused and violated. It hurt. And you were wounded. Deeply wounded.
Since then you’ve carried a grudge. There’s resentment and bitterness and hatred and anger. And if you saw them in public it would take everything within you not to give them a piece of your mind.
But let’s be honest – harboring these feelings towards others just isn’t healthy. Marianne Williamson said, “Unforgiveness is like drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die.” So true.
In Psalm 23:5, it is God who sets the table and invites our enemies to have dinner with us. He knows the grudge we carry is holding us back from all He created us to be. And when we forgive, He promises to “anoint our head with oil” – meaning, He will fill our lives with joy and gladness. Now that sounds good.
And when someone bumps into us or kicks us out of a soccer game, “our cup will overflow (23:5b)” with grace and love and forgiveness.
When Jesus was mocked and beaten and nailed to a cross, He had every right to defend Himself and take revenge. Yet, there He was, willingly suffering the worst death imaginable. And He uttered 3 words that changed the world, ““Father, forgive them” (Luke 23:34).
Simply put, we can forgive others since God has forgiven us. He died for us and He died for them too. Yes, those people.
Prayer: God, thank you for not kicking me out of your love. You forgave me when I didn’t deserve it. Help me to forgive others. Show me how I can love them just as you loved me. Amen.